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The Undertaker Returns To WWE – But Why?

June 27, 2019 | Posted by Justin Watry
Roman Reigns Undertaker Drew McIntyre Shane McMahon Extreme Rules

The Undertaker has returned to WWE.


After less than a three week hiatus, the dead has risen once more. While I already wrote a Stomping Grounds 2019 review Sunday night, this felt like a special occasion where one more column from yours truly is due. Truthfully, it was either this or a mid-year review of my 2019 Bold Predictions (doing great if you are wondering). Cheap plugs aside, let’s take a look and just exactly why Taker is back so soon after Super Showdown.

Anything can happen – Bayley winning the Money in the Bank contract and cashing in that same night was excellent. However, it was on pay-per-view. That was seen on WWE Network, not television. Brock Lesnar shocking the world to win the MITB men’s briefcase was equally as shocking. Again though, that was on WWE Network. Kofi Kingston winning the WWE Championship, John Cena returning as the Doctor Of Thuganomics, Becky Lynch pinning Ronda Rousey, all of these memorable moments were saved for PPV. The television product has needed a shocking moment for awhile now. The Superstar Shakeup appears to be a giant waste. The Wildcard Rule could have worked but is already a bust. The last time we had a huge Raw moment may have been the previous Undertaker return (unadvertised) coming out to confront Elias. That was back in early April. Live event has been down as has been ratings. Not that it really matters too much but different column for a different day. The Undertaker appearing out of nowhere(!!!) to save Roman Reigns from a beatdown gave fans an unexpected moment. A feeling that anything can happen on WWE TV. In 2019 with the world surrounded by spoilers and news leaks, that is huge.

Logic – Did you all hear the promo Shane McMahon gave at Stomping Grounds? You hear him gloating the next night? He point blank said that it was now HIS yard out there. Them fighting words from The Big Dog and Big Evil. Common enemies make friends. I was there live in Orlando for Roman Reigns vs. The Undertaker. Even if I did predict Reigns would win clean, there was that mutual respect from both before, during, and after. Win or lose. It was never a rivalry, as much as it was a special attraction main event between the past and the future. My buddy, who I went to WrestleMania 33 with, said it was match of the night. I disagreed, but that statement goes a long way it establishing their history. The next night when Reigns got the crowd reaction he did…same thing. Drew McIntyre and Shane McMahon could only brag about being the best in the world for so long before somebody came out to shut them up.

Best In The World – Speaking of, it was just two weeks that I wrote a lengthy column detailing the entire Shane McMahon saga. In that very column, I repeatedly said that a simple ‘face beats heel’ conclusion would not suffice. Roman Reigns simply beating up Shane McMahon in a gimmick match wouldn’t be enough. We needed a bigger payoff. A much bigger payoff than anybody expected. I ran down a laundry list of possible outcomes. Fast forward to RAW and boom! Here is The FREAKIN’ Undertaker coming out to choke slam Shane McMahon. You’re welcome. No way was WWE just going to let this thing keep going without a HUGE end game in mind. I would say Reigns and Taker teaming up qualifies as that.

Business – The joke on Twitter right now is that whenever business starts to slump, they call in The Undertaker or Triple H. Obviously BS when their business has been going up, up, up, up, up and up some more in recent years. Silly to suggest or claim otherwise. At the same time, even I have argued that yes, we have needed SOMETHING to happen. More Seth Rollins and Baron Corbin matches is not it. More Lacey Evans vs. Becky Lynch is not it. The ridiculous Wildcard Rule is not it. More McMahon speeches is certainly not it. I did not rate Stomping Grounds very highly. For me to NOT enjoy a WWE Network live special, that says a lot. I’d like to think that speaks volumes, much more than others who blindly and (falsely) just rip on everything WWE. When I see it needed more, trust me – it needs more. Because of The Undertaker coming back in such a shocking fashion, Extreme Rules is already must-see viewing come July 14th, 2019. Big weekend for wrestling fans on WWE Network.

Redemption – Others are speculating that The Undertaker wants to have another match so soon after Super Showdown in order to ‘redeem’ himself. For the record, I thought the first 90% of his bout versus Bill Goldberg was very good. If not GREAT actually. Just too bad all anybody will talk about is the ending sequence with a dude bloodied, beaten up and barely able to stand. My belief is that The Undertaker knows his legacy is intact. He could lay a turd in the ring for the next ten years, and nobody would give two hoots. He is The Undertaker. Then, now, and forever. With allllllll of that being said, I do think Taker wants to move on to something other than fans talking about his one off battle with Goldberg. Whether it was amazing or horrible, that entire deal had nothing to do with the current product. Time to get back into the mix and think about possible Summerslam plans. Taker and Reigns? Taker and Shane? Taker and Drew? Lots of intriguing options there.

Interest – The loudest reaction on Raw was The Undertaker returning. The biggest YouTube draw for WWE all week has been The Undertaker returning. By a WIDE margin. At last loo,, YouTube alone has already racked up over seven million views. Compare that to everything else on the show. Go ahead, I dare you. That is why these legends come back. That is why Taker’s phone rings every few months with a new offer. Don’t tell me you would be an owner or boss and just ignore those massive numbers. That would be called being complacent. Right or wrong, I believe WWE is trying to right the ship after their recent downturn in quality. There have been some small tweaks made to the weekly product. It would be worse if they did NOTHING. They aren’t though. They are giving an effort to entertain fans. Sure, not all of it will work, but effort goes a long way with me. Bringing back The Undertaker is clearly a short-term fix, but again, at least it is something.

Tag – Even if you are against The Undertaker returning to the squared circle, it is a tag team match. Isn’t that what he should be doing in 2019? Hit your moves, do your spots and give the ‘rub’ to whatever story line you’re involved with. In this case, it is furthering the Best In The World story line and hopefully, Drew McIntyre. Nobody is asking him to have a 30 minute classic anymore, much less keeping up with any youngster that could run circles around him. It’s lending star power to arguably the top feud in the company (or one of) and give the company a mini boost before the biggest party of the summer in August. I doubt Extreme Rules was going to grab many headlines with a Baron/Lacey vs. Seth/Becky main event. Now? A whole bunch of fun will be had.

SUMMARY: Is it because of the recent ratings slump? Is it because Taker requested another match to redeem himself quickly? Is it because Extreme Rules needed an added special attraction next month? Is it because of bigger plans down the road that will be revealed before Summerslam? I have no idea. Regardless, the live crowd went nuts for The Undertaker returning on RAW this past Monday night, and I did as well. That reaction tells the story right there. Fans love him and are glad he is back in the ring…regardless of WHY he is back.

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article topics :

The Undertaker, WWE, Justin Watry